The Magnificent Maestro

Mstislav Rostropovich goes to Washington and a mad "loff" affair begins

All tuned up and ready to blow, the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington waited on the stage of the austere concert hall at the John F. Kennedy Center. A cheerful cherub of a man walked swiftly to the podium and smiled at the audience. His face was a pale Russian winter's landscape, his blue eyes shone mischievously. He turned toward his colleagues and, with a sturdy slash of his baton, launched into a high-speed, raucous overture that seemed to roil the Potomac. It was strictly...

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